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Best of John Robison

Gaming Guru

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The Slot Expert's Guide to Winning at Slots and Video Poker

19 June 2000

You can hear me give my slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer with Frank Scoblete, which is broadcast live from Memphis on WHBQ over the air on 560AM and over the Internet on Yahoo! Broadcast on Saturday morning from 8-10 CT.


This question comes up at every seminar and it has even been asked a few times the last couple of months on the radio show: When should I switch machines?

How long should I keep feeding a cold machine in the hopes that it will start to pay off? Or the flip side, when should I stop playing a hot machine to avoid the inevitable time when it cools off?

This week, let's talk about the positive side of the question. When should you stop playing a hot machine?

The obvious answer is NEVER. As long as the machine is hot, take it for all it's worth. Eventually, though, the machine will turn cold and start to reclaim some of the money it gave you. If you could determine the beginning of the cold streak, you would know when to quit playing and take the money and run.

And there's the problem. There's no way to determine when a machine will have a cold streak--or a hot streak, for that matter. There's no way to know how long the hot streak will last or when it will end.

So, here's what I do to make sure that I take away some of the money I win during a hot streak. I set a quit point and raise the quit point as the credit meter climbs. I always set the quit point 10 or so spins below the current credit meter value so I still have a chance to catch another hot streak.

Let's say I start with 100 credits. If I get up to 150 credits, I set a quit point at 100 credits. If I go down to 100 credits, I'll cash out at breakeven--actually, a little ahead because of the slot club points and comps I earned. If I hit 200 credits, I move the quit point up to 150. And so on.

Plus, I use the chicken-out factor. Say I'm at 200 credits with a quit point of 150. If I take a nosedive down to about 175 without hitting anything along the way, I cash out early with an extra 25 coins.

Next time, we turn to the dark side--when to give up on a cold machine.


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@home.com.


For more information about slots and video poker, we recommend:

Break the One-Armed Bandits! by Frank Scoblete
Victory at Video Poker and Video Craps, Keno and Blackjack! by Frank Scoblete
Slot Conquest Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Slots & Video Poker! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
The Slot Machine Answer Book by John Grochowski
John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots